Written by Lousine Boyajian
The Role of Estrogen and Cortisol in Memory and Learning
Perimenopause can cause estrogen levels to drop, which can also impact memory. Estrogen receptors in the brain are responsible for memory and learning. Cortisol, a neurotransmitter in charge of chemical communication in the brain, is controlled by estrogen in females.
Impact of Estrogen Levels on Memory
Over time, as estrogen levels gradually decrease during perimenopause, cortisol levels in the brain also become poorly controlled. During this time, women experience a decline in ovarian hormones such as estradiol, the main type of estrogen that affects the brain.
Managing Memory Issues during Perimenopause
Estrogen levels can affect the production, release, and breakdown of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory). The hippocampus, a brain region critical for forming and developing memories, is also affected by the amount of estrogen production. These fluctuating hormone levels result in brain fog, forgetfulness, and cognitive decline among women undergoing menopause and perimenopause.
It’s important to note that every woman’s perimenopause experience is different. Forgetfulness may be a side effect to some, and not others. Age, stress, and individual health differences are all factors that can potentially contribute to forgetfulness as well.
Tips to Improve Memory and Cognitive Function
- Eat fruits that help with memory (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries)
- Engage in memory games and activities: puzzles, word games, and crosswords
- Stay active: exercise frequently (at least 2-3 times per week)
Perimenopause can bring many physiological changes to your body, some of these are changes to memory, focus, and concentration. By adopting some of these lifestyle changes you can improve the impact of perimenopause symptoms.
Disclaimer: At It’sFetch.co we strive to provide valuable and reliable health information through our blog. We believe in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. However, it is important to understand that the content on our blog is not intended to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified medical professional.